Alive in the Swamp

July 23, 2013

A new Innovation Index puts teaching and learning ahead of ‘technology and excitement’ when it comes to digital innovations for the classroom. The Innovation Index, developed by Michael Fullan and Pearson’s Katelyn Donnelly, is outlined in their new report, “Alive in the Swamp”, which looks at how to evaluate the impact of technology on learning.Alive in the Swamp is published by UK-based Nesta and U.S.-based NewSchools Venture Fund.

Building on the work that Fullan introduced in his book Stratosphere the Innovation Index has been designed as a practical evaluation tool for those charged with making decisions in schools – K-12 in the U.S. and primary to secondary in the UK  – about what technologies to invest in and when. It helps users evaluate the innovation in three dimensions – pedagogy, system change potential and use of technology.  

In 2012, Nesta’s Decoding Learning report argued that education technology should be designed around how students learn, cautioning that in many cases technology is currently being used to support existing teaching practices, rather than transform teaching and learning.

“Alive in the Swamp” takes “Decoding Learning” forward by looking at the need to deliver a change in how technology is approached across the whole school system, in each and every classroom.